Sow eggplant seedlings
Eggplant is a vegetable that is not very easy to grow. Firstly, he is very thermophilic. Secondly, he has a long growing season. And besides, it requires a lot of nutrients. Therefore, not all gardeners decide to plant it. And if they decide, it starts with seedlings. It begins to cook almost from the winter.
When to plant eggplant for seedlings
Eggplant seedlings have to be grown almost throughout the country. In the south, they begin to do this already in early February, or even earlier, and even in the central regions of Russia, preparatory work begins far from the last winter days. Eggplant seeds hatch tight: even prepared ones can wake up to a week and a half. The eggplant's growing season is long, so in mid-February you need to get the container and prepare for planting the soil mixture and seeds to sow them no later than the beginning of March.
At the end of the last century, gardeners and gardeners have become fashionable to follow various lunar calendars, which advise you to plant only a few specific days in each month and say that on some dates working with plants is completely prohibited. Unfortunately, such calendars can be trusted less and less: different publications have their own versions, sometimes diametrically opposed. It got to the point that if you focus on certain dates, you need to very seriously analyze many sources and choose the most authoritative.
Planting eggplant for seedlings at home
Eggplant seedlings have to be planted at home: the greenhouse option is suitable only in the south of the country. Although, of course, if there is a heated greenhouse, then this can be done anytime, anywhere. But we will focus on our apartment and in advance, in the winter, stock up on seeds, soil for sowing and convenient containers.
Ground and containers for eggplant seedlings
The issue with seedling containers is solved simply: it is best to immediately sow seeds in peat pots. They should be medium or even large. But if you want to temporarily save space in the apartment, you can initially use a small box: although this vegetable does not really like transplanting, if you have some experience, you can do this.
Therefore, if you didn’t even find a wooden box, we take a cardboard box from under the juice (preferably 1.5 or 2 liters), cut one of the large sides, and in the other we make a dozen small holes to drain excess water during irrigation. But we still buy peat pots.
If we are going to grow a total of a dozen plants, the easiest way to buy soil in a store. You just need to choose one where the word “eggplant" is on the packaging, and not the cheapest one: under the guise of good soil they still often sell ordinary land dug somewhere under the fence ... If the soil is from a well-known manufacturer, it can be used immediately, without preparation . Although it is better to hold for several days on the balcony and freeze.
More often summer residents make up the soil themselves, somewhere in all sorts of ways, extracting the necessary ingredients. For eggplant, one of the necessary - peat. With its use, optimal soil mixtures are obtained. If you mix peat with good garden soil (1: 1) and add ten percent of pure sand, it would be ideal. A good handful of wood ash and twenty grams of urea should immediately be added to the bucket of the mixture. Or, instead of this mixture, 30–40 g of azofoska. Other variants of the mixture are possible, for example, peat, humus and sawdust (2: 2: 1).
When buying finished soil, it is advisable to take one that is designed specifically for eggplant
It is necessary to disinfect your soil: is there anything in the garden soil or humus? Calcination in the oven, often used for this purpose, is not very comfortable in a city apartment, so it is easiest to spill the soil with a warm, light solution of potassium permanganate. This work should be completed approximately 5-7 days before sowing seeds. Pour part of the prepared mixture into a box, the rest will be returned to the balcony in anticipation of transplanting seedlings into pots.
Presowing seed treatment
With a variety of eggplant, you need to decide in advance and choose zoned. It should be borne in mind that in the central regions in unprotected soil, only early or extra early varieties or hybrids of eggplants can be grown. It is worth looking at what the variety is recommended for: for greenhouses or open ground. If the seeds are not very fresh, still in winter should not spare time and check for germination.
When buying seeds, you need to not only look at the colorful enticing label, but also carefully read all the information on the back
True, now the seeds are expensive, only a dozen may be present in the bag, but it is better to know in advance whether to buy new ones. To check, at least six should be soaked for a day in water, then spread on a wet cloth and placed in a warm place (about 30 ° C), systematically checking the condition of the seeds and adding some water. If in 7-10 days at this temperature half of the seeds bite, it’s already normal.
Branded, not too cheap seeds can not be pickled, serious organizations try to sell only healthy ones. But it will be safer to bathe them for half an hour in a dark solution of potassium permanganate, after which it is good to wash with plain water. If a subsequent planting of seedlings in open ground is expected, it is necessary to conduct their hardening. To do this, the seeds are placed in a wet tissue and within 4–6 days the dislocation between the heat and the refrigerator is changed with a frequency of 10–12 hours.
Eggplant is one of the few vegetables whose cultivation should not be neglected by pre-sowing seed treatment with growth stimulants.
For this, you can use, for example, Epin-Extra or Zircon strictly according to the instructions on the label. They contribute to increased germination, as well as the further development of seedlings. Usually this treatment lasts about a day.
After all the measures described above, some of the seeds will surely bite, and their further germination is not necessary. Seeds prepared in this way are ready for sowing. Is it possible to sow fresh seeds from a sachet immediately, dry? Sure you may. In properly created conditions, they will certainly rise. Just do it they will be stretched: the first sprouts may appear after 5-7 days, and the latter linger for two weeks, or even longer.
Thus, a complete set of seed preparation operation is as follows.
- Check the seeds for germination.
Before checking for germination, you can even manually sort the seeds by size
- Disinfect them in a solution of potassium permanganate.
To disinfect the seeds, you need to prepare a strong solution, approximately the same as in the figure on the left
- We harden the seeds in the refrigerator.
Soaked seeds are tempered in the refrigerator
- We process growth stimulants.
Growth stimulants are used only according to the instructions for them.
Rules for planting seeds for seedlings
If everything is prepared and the time has come, you can start sowing. Sowing itself is very simple. Eggplant seeds are quite large, they can easily be taken with tweezers one at a time and laid out in a box with soil. You can pre-make grooves with a depth of about 1.5 cm, and it is easier to spread the seeds according to the 5 x 5 cm pattern, and then fill it with a small layer of soil. Immediately after sowing, the garden in the box must be carefully poured with clean water and covered with a film.
Instead of water, you can put a layer of snow on the soil: snow water contributes to better hatching of seeds.
So, most often when sowing prepared seeds, the following steps are performed.
- Fill a box or box with soil.
The box can be of any size, but not less than 7-8 cm deep
- Lay out according to the scheme 5 x 5 cm eggplant seeds.
Seeds are laid out according to the selected scheme manually
- They fall asleep with a layer of soil 1.5–2 cm thick.
Seeds fall asleep in the same soil in which they were planted
- Lay snow on top with a layer of 3-5 cm.
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- After the snow melts, cover the box with glass or film and put it in a warm place.
The film will create a greenhouse effect to improve seedlings.
Until the first loops appear, keep the temperature at 25–28 ° C. Shoots should appear in a week or a half. Next is the most important event: the box must be put on a cool, well-lit window sill. Within 5-7 days, it will be necessary to prevent the temperature from rising above 16-18 ° C, the night heat is especially terrible: instead of root development, seedlings will quickly stretch up and turn into lifeless strings.
Then the temperature should be slowly raised to 23–25 ° С, at night it can be slightly lower. Such heat and bright light will be required by seedlings up to planting in the garden. If the window sill is poorly lit, it is necessary to equip the backlight: a fluorescent lamp, a diode lamp and or a special phytolamp. A long daylight is not required, but in daylight, the light intensity should be sufficient. If the light falls on the side, you need to turn the box from time to time to it. And periodically moderately water the seedlings with warm water.
Since we sowed the seeds in a box, soon the seedlings will need to be peaked in separate peat pots with the same composition of soil. They must immediately be placed in any durable tray and not removed before bedding: during prolonged use, the walls of the pots become very soft from watering. No need to save on the size of the pots: if the roots sprout through the walls, the seedlings will have to be transplanted again, together with the pot, into more solid containers.
Since eggplant seedlings grow unevenly, picking is performed selectively, as the most frisky specimens acquire two true leaves. The most frail seedlings should be thrown away right away. And the largest, after a good watering of seedlings, we must try to dig out of the box with a lump of earth, without breaking the roots.
Unlike tomatoes, pinching the roots during a dive is undesirable. They can be slightly shortened only if they are branches so that they do not fit in a peat pot. If you manage to remove the seedlings together with a large soil lump, and they are successfully placed in a new dwelling, it is better not to touch the roots. Transplanted seedlings are well watered and cleaned for several days at partial shade, after which they are returned to normal conditions, and they continue to grow.
Of course, you could immediately sow the seeds in pots. But it would be required to sow at least 2 seeds each, beingware of incomplete germination, and all seedlings would immediately occupy the entire window sill. And the material of the pots does not withstand the long stay of seedlings in them, so preliminary sowing in a common box makes sense.
Video: sowing eggplant seedlings
Alternative methods for planting eggplant seedlings
In addition to the described method using boxes and peat pots, there are other methods of planting eggplant for seedlings: from completely ordinary to exotic.
Planting eggplant seedlings in cassettes
One of the most popular methods of growing seedlings is the use of reusable plastic cups. They are available as separate (with a retractable bottom), and assembled blocks, or cassettes. Seedlings can be dived into cassettes, or prepared seeds can be sown immediately. But in order to prevent overspending, it is advisable to sow only stubborn seeds. The soil used is the same as when sowing in a box or peat pot.
Unfortunately, most commercially available cassettes are quite small in size.
The trouble is that large cassettes are hard to find, therefore, as soon as the seedlings grow up, they still have to be transferred to more spacious containers (peat pots or home-made plastic film cups). And the technique of sowing in cassettes is no different from the usual one: in the center of each cell with a pencil or a stick, make a depression of 1.5–2 cm, put a seed in it, fill it with soil, water it and cover it with glass.
The use of peat tablets
In recent years, growing seedlings of various vegetables and flowers in peat tablets has become popular. They are especially convenient if picking is undesirable. Tablets are made industrially from peat with the addition of a variety of nutrients. To prevent spillage, they are wrapped in a light mesh or thin film. Before use, tablets are placed in any waterproof container (pallet, basin, large food container) and gradually filled with water. At the same time, tablets significantly increase in vertical size.
In the upper part of the tablet there is a dimple in which a seed is put. This is done with tweezers or a toothpick, which is used to sprinkle the crops, raking the peat slightly on the side of the recess. Unfortunately, the maximum diameter of the tablets is 7 cm, and for growing eggplant seedlings, it is a little small. There is a share of risk: perhaps a tablet will be enough, but transshipment to a larger container may be necessary.
The composition of peat tablets allows you to grow seedlings in them from sowing seeds to transplanting into the ground
After sowing, the tray with tablets is covered and placed in a warm place. Further care is usual, but it is more convenient to water the tablets from below: they simply pour water into the pan, and then it is absorbed by peat in the required amount. Tablets are also convenient in that, when using them, feeding seedlings is not required.
Planting seedlings in a snail
There is such a tricky “snail” technique, when seedlings are grown with minimal expenditure of space in the apartment; sometimes they do without land at all, sometimes using its minimum amount. Some fast-growing crops can be kept in the cochlea up to transplanting to the garden. With eggplants this will not work, but you can sow their seeds in a snail, followed by picking into pots. Do it like that.
- Cut a strip of linoleum or any durable film about 15 cm wide, at least a meter long.
- Put several layers of toilet paper on this strip, and on top place fertile soil with a layer of 1-2 cm.
- Lay out the seeds 1–1.5 cm from the edge of one of the sides, 4–5 cm from each other.
- Cover it all with a layer of toilet paper and roll it up, put it with the seeds up, put a plastic bag on the top of the head.
- The pallet is placed in a warm place; after emergence, seedlings are grown in the cochlea up to a pick.
Video: growing seedlings in a snail followed by a dive
Planting seedlings in diapers
Another option for the manufacture of snails is the use of disposable diapers. The diaper combines the roles of film and toilet paper. They do everything exactly the same as in the previous case. But sometimes they do without land at all, and several layers of toilet paper are spread over the diaper. Well moistening it, lay out the prepared eggplant seeds and fold them into a snail. Such an application of the “hydroponic” option for eggplant is risky: after all, they immediately need food, and seedlings do not always reach the pick.
But the use of polypropylene diapers for making soil cups with sowing seeds there is quite a reasonable approach: polypropylene is durable, flexible, and the diaper made of it is breathable. In this sense, the diaper is much better than the plastic film, still used in the old fashioned way to make cups by some summer residents. A glass from the diaper is not as durable as a reusable plastic, but it does not need to be stored in the winter, it is not a pity to throw it away right away.
Boarding toilet paper
Toilet paper is sometimes used not in the version of a snail, but simply replacing it with earth in a drawer or box. Several layers of paper are placed in a plastic container, well watered with water, spread the seeds, tightly cover and put in a warm bright place. Periodically, the lid is opened and ventilated seedlings.
In a garden with a greenhouse effect, seedlings appear more likely than in the soil, but bringing them without proper nutrition to the appearance of true leaves is unrealistic, therefore seedlings are planted in pots much earlier, at about ten days of age. At this time, it is not difficult to separate them without disturbing the roots. When creating favorable conditions, seedlings take root well in pots with nutrient soil.
About crops "in boiling water"
The so-called sowing of seeds in boiling water is an example from the field of unnecessary and dangerous inventions. Some gardeners to accelerate the germination of seeds lay them on the surface of the soil and doused with hot water. But, firstly, this cannot be called boiling water: at a temperature above 50–55 ° C, the seeds will simply be welded. Secondly, even if the water temperature is successful, and the heat activates the growth processes, the gain in the timing of growing seedlings will be a maximum of 2-3 days. So what's the point? Therefore, such a technique, apparently, should not be recommended for use by serious gardeners.
Eggplant seedlings in a greenhouse
If there is a heated greenhouse near the house, it is more convenient to grow seedlings in it. In an ordinary greenhouse, this option is only available in the southern regions: in February or March there is still not enough heat to grow eggplant seedlings. All operations are carried out in exactly the same way as at home, only the greenhouse must be ventilated periodically: the risk of contracting a black leg in stagnant, humid air increases many times.
At the same time, in the greenhouse, you can do without pots, pecking seedlings directly into the beds, prepared in the fall. This approach is convenient if eggplant is supposed to be grown in the same greenhouse until the harvest.
In greenhouses, eggplant seedlings are grown on an industrial scale
In the case of subsequent planting of seedlings in open ground, you can sow seeds in a box or box at home, and dive them in pots already in the greenhouse: most likely, by the time this operation is completed, the greenhouse will already be warmed to the required temperature if it is modern, polycarbonate. With film, the question is doubtful. But in any case, the greenhouse should be visited daily by the owner: eggplant is a capricious culture, and constant monitoring and adjustment of the conditions for growing seedlings is certainly necessary.
Possible reasons that eggplant does not sprout
There are several reasons why the sown seeds do not germinate, but you need to worry no earlier than two weeks after sowing the prepared seeds. The reasons can be both in the seeds and in the conditions in which they fell.
- Unsuitable seeds: the shelf life of eggplant seeds is several years, so they are advised to check for germination before sowing.
- Use of seeds processed by the manufacturer: some modern technologies for seed preparation increase productivity, but delay the period of seed germination; wait a little longer.
- Planting seeds too deep: 2-3 cm is not a problem, and with deeper sowing, soaked seeds can rot.
- There is not enough heat: at temperatures below 20 ° C, the seeds can "think" for a very long time, or even not come up at all.
- Unsuitable soil moisture: in a dry soil, the seeds could dry out, and in a swampy soil - suffocate and rot.
Planting eggplant seedlings in the ground
If eggplant seedlings are planted in open ground, the weather should already be really summer: the average daily temperature should be at least 20 ° C. And since often by the time of planting (early summer) this is still unattainable, seedlings are planted under temporary film shelters. But the temperature of the soil at a depth of 10-15 cm should not be lower than 15 ° C. Seedlings are planted in the evening, when the sun no longer bakes, and even better if cloudy weather is forecast for the coming days.
Seedlings ready for planting have several large leaves on a short stem
Хорошая рассада имеет высоту не менее 20 см, на ней должно присутствовать от 5 до 8 крупных здоровых листьев. Схема посадки зависит от сорта, но в среднем между кустами оставляют около 40 см, а между рядами 50–70 см. Грядка с осени должна быть очень хорошо удобрена, располагаться на солнечном месте, защищённом от действия холодных ветров. Часто для баклажанов готовят «тёплые» грядки по одной из хорошо известных технологий, то есть в низ грядки набивают всевозможные растительные остатки, гниение которых приводит к разогреванию почвы в зоне корней.
Технология высадки обычная. Баклажаны сажают немного глубже, чем они росли в горшочках. Для высокорослых сортов сразу предусматривают колышки для подвязки. Высаженную рассаду хорошо поливают тёплой водой, а почву вокруг кустов обязательно мульчируют. При этом даже в южных регионах на первое время посадки накрывают неткаными материалами.
Выращивание рассады баклажанов аналогично выращиванию помидоров или перцев, только посев производится несколько раньше. Известны несколько способов посева семян, но в любом случае львиную долю времени рассада проводит в индивидуальных горшочках, желательно торфяных. Самостоятельно вырастить рассаду баклажанов вполне возможно, но запастись терпением стоит.